When to Visit Kauai

Top Times of Year to Travel to Kauai

Best Time to Visit Kauai

Kauai Tips for When to Visit

Wondering when is the best time to visit Kauai? If you've already narrowed down your choices of islands and the Garden Isle is the winner, you're probably wondering what time of year to visit the island.

The best times to visit Kauai, when considering the weather, crowds, demand, and prices, are the months of April, May, August, September, and early October. Some call these Kauai's 'off-season periods' or the 'shoulder months.' But there's more to cover on this topic before you make a final decision.

Below we'll cover visitor arrivals, Kauai's weather and climate, accommodations, rates, and what to expect on a visit during each season on Kauai.

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2024 Kauai
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Kalalau Trail along Na Pali Coastline

Kalalau Trail along Na Pali Coastline

Kauai Visitor Arrivals

Typical Kauai Visitor Arrivals (2023 & 2022)

Typical Kauai Visitor Arrivals (2023 & 2022)

What to Expect on Kauai in 2024

Post-pandemic inflation will continue to impact flight costs, the costs associated with Kauai rental vehicles, and potentially Kauai accommodation rates due to increases in local electricity costs (Hawaii generates a significant amount of its electricity from petroleum fuels). Already we've seen 20-35% increases in fares over pre-pandemic (2019) rates on Kauai. 

Visiting Kauai within the next few years, between 2024 and 2025, means you'll avoid the increased crowds projected to return by 2026 and beyond. So if you're visiting the 'Garden Isle' soon, you've selected a great time!

We'll keep you posted... this article will be updated accordingly as things change.

Hanalei Valley in North Kauai

Hanalei Valley in North Kauai

Weather & Climate

Kauai has a remarkably stable weather pattern year-round. During the winter you'll experience highs in the mid-70s °F (23-24°C), while summer temperatures usually get into the mid-80s °F (28-30°C). Kauai is wetter than the other islands and is actually home to the second (arguably THE) wettest spot on the planet at Waialeale. But this lush, verdant atmosphere is what makes Kauai the "Garden Isle."

Kauai's North and East Coasts are together referred to as the windward side; which is typically wetter than the rest of the island. The driest locations are in south Kauai near Poipu or further west towards Waimea and Kekaha. Ultimately, most rain showers are brief and the sun quickly returns; only occasionally does a weather system bring prolonged rain to the island.

Please note that we advise against listening to The Weather Channel since they'll forecast rain every day (which is technically accurate, but it's unlike rain on the mainland - it comes in bunches as we discussed above).

For more information about Kauai's weather and the best regions to stay in, be sure to check out our Kauai Weather article.

Hurricane Season

Hurricane and tropical storms are historically rare events on Kauai, but it’s still important to be prepared for storms if you visit during Hawaii hurricane season - June through November. The last few years have seen increased activity around the islands so it’s essential to monitor weather conditions when planning and taking your trip to Kauai.

Average Kauai Temperature and Precipitation Charts

Lihue Average Temperatures

Lihue Average Temperatures

Lihue Average Precipitation

Lihue Average Precipitation

Waimea Canyon in West Kauai

Waimea Canyon in West Kauai

Accommodations & Rates

The best deals, accommodations wise, are found during the months of April - May and September - early December. The holidays, especially Christmas, are the busiest time of year and prices will reflect the increased demand. During the spring and fall, visitation is typically down (meaning fewer crowds) and prices will reflect the decreased demand for accommodations.

If you're wondering where the best places to stay are located, be sure to check out our Where to Stay on Kauai article.

Below, we'll cover our Kauai Seasonal Expectations on visiting during each season of the year.

Kauai Accommodation Rate Averages

Kauai Accommodation Rate Averages

Nualolo Trail overlooking Na Pali Coast

Nualolo Trail overlooking Na Pali Coast

Kauai Seasonal Expectations

Events Updated for 2024 - 2025

We've included the dates and months that most Kauai events are typically held below, but please be aware that currently, things are subject to change.

Visiting Kauai in January, February, or March

This season is often one of the wettest on-island, but it's certainly not a wash. Temperatures will also be cooler, at least by Kauai standards. Additionally, demand is lower at this period, and the island will likely feel less "crowded" than during the busier summer months or at Christmas time.

Kauai Winter Events:
  • Waimea Town Celebration (February) - Kauai's largest and oldest festival, held over nine days, celebrating Hawaiian culture.
  • Prince Kuhio Day Celebration (March) - Visitors can enjoy live music, hula, and other activities at Anahola Beach Park.

Be sure to also regularly check our Kauai current event pages for:

Visiting Kauai in April, May, or June

The early spring months of April and May are two of the best months to visit Kauai, in our opinion. The weather is typically fantastic, and rates and visitor demand are down until early June. This is definitely the time of year to find great rates on-island.

Kauai Spring Events:
  • Coming Soon...

Be sure to also regularly check our Kauai current event pages for:

Visiting Kauai in July, August, or September

The start of the summer months will be busy - especially in July, but visitors can find great rates and will see lower overall visitation as you head into the months of August and September. The latter two months of this period are a great time to visit Kauai. Temperatures will be warmer in the early summer through August, but only a few degrees higher than normal.

Kauai Summer Events:
  • Koloa Plantation Days (July) - Previously held in July 2022. A celebration of Kauai's historic sugar industry boom. Features a parade, floats, riding units, marching band and more.
  • Kauai Marathon (September) - A beautiful marathon and half marathon route that follows the Kauai coastline around the island.
  • Kauai Mokihana Festival (September) - A week-long festival, held in Kapaa, featuring hula competition, Hawaiian music, and cultural presentations.

Be sure to also regularly check our Kauai current event pages for:

Visiting Kauai in October, November, or December

As with the winter months, a portion of the fall season can be wetter than at other times of the year, especially mid-to-late November and December. Visitation will be down during this period, which typically results in lower demand and prices - the exception, of course, being the last weeks of December around the holidays when prices & demand will increase dramatically. Expect cooler temperatures the further into the fall season you are, though typically the only elevation on Kauai that might require a light jacket is near Kokee and Waimea Canyon.

Kauai Fall Events:
  • Holiday Craft Fair (December) - Features a day of holiday shopping & entertainment with NTBG plants alongside Kauai-made products, jewelry, clothing, and more.

Be sure to also regularly check our Kauai current event pages for:

Kauai Transportation Options

Transportation on Kauai is varied, allowing for a tailored travel experience.

  • Car Rentals: Renting a car is favored (we recommend Discount Hawaii Car Rental), offering freedom to roam the island's diverse locales.
  • Public Buses: The Kauai Bus covers several routes, though it has limitations in schedule and coverage.
  • Shuttle Services: Some resorts offer shuttles to key destinations for a hassle-free commute.
  • Bicycling: With scenic trails, biking is a delightful option with rentals available island-wide.
  • Taxis and Ride-Shares: Convenient for short distances, taxis and ride-shares like Uber and Lyft are operational.
  • Walking: In compact areas like Kapaa and Hanalei, walking is a pleasant way to explore the surroundings and mingle with locals.

Considering the transportation options in advance can help visitors make the most of their Kauai experience, whether they prefer the flexibility of a rental car, the eco-friendliness of biking, or the convenience of public transit.

Local Kauai Customs and Visitor Etiquette

Understanding and adhering to local customs and etiquette is a crucial part of immersing oneself in the Hawaiian culture, which is deeply rooted in respect, tradition, and the spirit of 'ohana (family). When visiting Kauai or any part of Hawaii, it's important to show respect for the land (‘āina) and local residents.

  • Greetings: It's customary to greet others with a friendly "Aloha" which means hello, goodbye, and love.
  • Shoes Off Indoors: It’s a common practice to remove one’s shoes before entering someone’s home.
  • Respect the 'Aina: Show respect to the land by not littering, staying on marked trails, and not taking anything from natural sites.
  • Don’t Rush: The pace of life is slower in Hawaii; embrace the relaxed pace and don’t rush.
  • Respect Sacred Sites: Many areas in Hawaii are considered sacred; obey posted signs and keep a respectful distance.
  • Driving Etiquette: Drive with aloha; let others merge, and wave a thank-you (or practice your best 'shaka' sign) if someone lets you in.

By adhering to these simple yet significant customs and practices, visitors can contribute to preserving the local culture and enjoy a more authentic and welcoming experience during their stay in Kauai.

The winter months are the best time take a whale watching tour.

The winter months are the best time take a whale watching tour.

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*Kauai monthly Visitor Statistics are provided by the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.

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